Friday, July 30, 2010

Frugal Friday - Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

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I posted this article back in January, but had to repost because it's one the of my favorite frugal tips! Making your own natural cleaning products can be one of the easiest steps to create a healthier home and save a ton of cash in the process. Think about all the cleaning products you buy, and if going green is important, these products can cost even more. Usually there's a different cleaner for every task, but if you stock just a few items you'll be able to tackle any job that pops up, and in a natural way!

There are so many books out now offering recipes and concoctions, but I suggest trying several simple recipes to get your feet wet. Below are a few essentials, many you might already have on hand.
  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Essential oils (lemon, lavender or tea tree)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Washing soda
Liquid dish detergent – Ratio of ½ liquid castile soap, ½ water, and 10-15 drops of lemon, lavender or tea tree essential oil.

Dishwasher detergent – 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, 10-20 drops of lemon, lavender or tea tree essential oil. Use 1 tablespoon per load. Click here for photos in the step-by-step process...

Dishwasher rinse – White vinegar. Use this instead of products like Jet Dry and pour into the rinse compartment of your dishwasher.

Laundry detergent – ¼ cup liquid castile soap, 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup washing soda. 1 tablespoon does an entire load! If you have a really large load or one that’s extra grungy, use 2 tablespoons.

I’ve found it’s best to blend the liquid castile soap with one of the dry ingredients first, using a fork. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. A hand pastry blender works really well if you have one. Click here for photos in the step-by-step process...

I prefer not to use essential oils in the laundry detergent because the castile soap has such a beautiful scent all on its own. But feel free to add oils if you like. Just make sure they are clear oils, as those with any color will end up coloring your clothes. Or just add several drops of your favorite oil on a cotton rag and toss it in the dryer with the clothes. Instant dryer sheet!

Fabric Softener – ½ cup of distilled white vinegar. This is the best fabric softener and so easy! Yes, that’s it, just plain ol’ vinegar. Simply add it to the rinse cycle.

Vinegar also gets rid of urine odors – perfect for those who have little ones that wet the bed or pets who aren’t quite housetrained yet. Simply wash the load with ½ cup of vinegar and hot water. Then wash again with the laundry detergent and items come out fresh and clean!

Basic Cleaner – 16 oz of hot water and 1 oz of liquid castile soap. I use this to clean everything and always have some in a spray bottle! It also works as a floor cleaner. I use a steamer mop to clean our floors, but when I don’t want to drag it out, simply spray the Basic Cleaner on the floor and use a towel to wipe it up!

Another Multi-Purpose Cleaner – 16 oz of hot water, 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 10-15 drops of essential oils.

Window Cleaner – 16 oz of water, 2 oz of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of liquid castile soap and 10-15 drops of lemon, lavender or tea tree essential oil.

This also works as a great bathroom cleaner for the toilet, tub & shower since vinegar and tea tree essential oil kill mildew.

Vinegar can also be used on its own as a wonderful window cleaner.

Tub & Tile Scrub - Ratio of ½ water and ½ baking soda. Use a sponge or brush and scrub away! If you feel you need more “power” in the scrub, add a little liquid castile soap.

Bleach Alternative – Hydrogen peroxide makes a great bleach alternative.

Here are a few book recommendations to begin your natural cleaning journey:

In Gratitude,

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  1. Hi Michele,

    Get info, thanks so much for sharing! I already do a few of these... but now I have a few more to try. :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Ruthie :)

  2. I love making my own cleaners. I've been doing it for about 15 years now. We've eliminated nearly all the cleaners, body care products, and air fresheners full of chemicals. The very few commercial items I still use are unscented.
    I'm always amazed how much my sense of smell is bombarded when I walk past someone wearing a heavy perfume, shampoo/body wash, or fabric softener, or even the smells in the health and beauty or cleaning aisles. I wonder if most people can really appreciate the smell of fresh air, sun ripened strawberries, or a dewy morning when their senses are dulled by chemical smells all the time.
    Well, its a journey for each person. I hope more people jump on board with natural cleaners and discover how much healthier(and economical) they are.
    Happy Cleaning!

  3. Hi Michele! What a great post! I was just starting to wonder how to make my own laundry detergent!!! Perfect timing! ;) Paulette P.S. My sister's name is Michele and she spells it the same as you do!

  4. These are some fabulous recipes! Thanks so much for sharing them! We make our soap but have been talking about making our own laundry detergent as well.

  5. Great timing! I'm just phasing out my cleaning products and using them up. I'm planning to replace with homemade ones. This will come in handy!

  6. So neat to meet you and find your blog. Great ideas for making my own cleaning product. Fabulous idea. I also love your backsplash, it turned out wonderful and what a creative idea. It turned out wonderful. Thanks for becoming a follower, I look forward to your visits and I also look forward to your future posts. Hugs, Marty

  7. Hey nice work u do i like it .... Thanks for sharing
    Green Clean

  8. Great tips! I'm going to have to try these! Vinegar does so much!

    Thanks for following along with us!

    I'm a new follower of yours now! You have a gret blog.

  9. I didn't know about using vinegar as a fabric softner, and I will start doing that. AND putting essential oils on a cloth and tossing it in the dryer. What a good idea! Where do you find liquid Castile soap?

    Love these ideas and I'm a follower!

    Lou Cinda :)

  10. will def try these recipes- thanks
    hope you consider joing my Barn Chicks Barn blog Party!


  11. Hi Lou Cinda, I used to make and sell bath and body and household cleaning items so I'm able to buy in bulk through a wholesaler, but when my order isn't very large then I use Amazon.

    Search for Dr. Bronner's liquid castile. If you buy directly through Amazon (not one of their distributors), the shipping is free. But sometimes you have to do some searching because it gets sold out fairly quickly. The Vitamin sells through Amazon and right now you can get the 1 gallon Dr. Bronner's castile lavender scent for $35 and shipping is $1. Hope that helps.

    Karen, I'll be there! Can't wait (:

  12. Wow, loving this post. This is great. I found Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap at Wholefoods Market if anyone has one of those near them. I really do love that stuff.

    This is a great post. I have to get all of these recipes. Thank you so much!

    I hope you have a very lovely evening,

  13. Great post! I was just thinking I needed to look some of these up.

  14. Great ideas!! I have been making a few of my own but will certainly try all of your great recipes. Cannot wait xo Lia

  15. Pressure washing is a wonderful method of providing a healthier and cleaner environment for your family at home. This is a cleaning process that is becoming very popular since it can efficiently clean the house structure, exteriors, and outdoor areas thus ensuring a cleaner environment. This process also prevents the spread of diseases and viruses caused by germs. Pressure washing can get rid of dir, mold, stains, oil, and other substances that can lead to health more

  16. Very useful post, Thanks for sharing this information.
    cleaning products in chennai

  17. Great tips. We totally need to seal our deck this spring! Fed up with never getting round to cleaning your windows? Nicks’s Window cleaning Services is ready to help. Our cleaning services cover a wide range of tasks to free up your time.


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